Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

  • Social Sciences

John Birch

China’s smoldering volcano

The United States is far from perfect. But China still lacks an independent legal system, adequate protection of human and labor rights, genuine freedom of expression, and predictable means to address grievances. Until such reforms can be accepted in Beijing, resentment will continue to rise and China’s smoldering volcano may eventually erupt.

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Could a tax on animal-based foods improve diet sustainability?

The global food system is estimated to contribute 30% of total Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In this context, the EU has committed to reducing GHG emissions by 40% relative to 1990 levels by 2030 and by 80% by 2050. Apart from the necessary policies of citizen information and production regulation, could a consumer tax on the most Greenhouse gas-emitting foods be a relevant tool to improve diet sustainability? Could it combine greener and healthier diets with a limited social cost?

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business law lee roach

The ‘Panama Papers’ and corporate transparency: The UK perspective

In early 2015, confidential documents were leaked to Süddeutsche Zeitung, a German newspaper. The documents leaked came from the internal database of Mossack Fonseca, a Panamanian law firm. Working with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and media organizations from around the world, the documents (which became known as the ‘Panama Papers’) were analysed and, on the 3 April 2016, media organizations around the world published their findings.

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Hate crime and anti-immigrant “talk”

Republican Presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz have called for the mass deportation of undocumented workers, the majority of whom hail from Mexico. To many liberals, the anti-immigrant rhetoric of these Republican candidates seems oddly anachronistic—a terrible throwback to an earlier America when we were less in touch with our melting pot roots.

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Who was Bill Philips?

Austerity, uncertainty, instability … all problems we associate with Europe today as it cycles from pre-GFC exuberance to today’s austerity. But to put things in perspective, these are minor problems compared what our grandparents endured after World War Two. In Britain many people did not have enough to eat, the government had secret plans for national catastrophe, the Cold War was raging, the colonies erupting, and Sterling was in crisis. In those days there were few policy economists, and macroeconomics was caught in a battle between non-interventionist classical economics and the Keynesian revolution of demand management.

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From domestic violence to coercive control

When a major obstacle is removed to our progress, idealist intellectuals like myself rejoice. I was introduced to one such obstacle in the early l970s, when a woman hiding from her abusive husband in our home told us “violence wasn’t the worst part.” Like the millions of other victimized women we have served in the ensuing years, she understood that the prevailing equation of partner abuse with domestic violence has little relation to her lived experience of oppression.

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Unnatural disasters and environmental injustice

The recent tragedy involving toxic, lead-laced tap water in Flint, Michigan highlights the growing gulf between rich and poor, and majority and minority communities. In an ill-fated measure to save costs for the struggling city of Flint, officials stopped using Detroit’s water supply system and switched to the Flint River.

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JoGSS

Beyond “methodological nationalism” in global security studies

Last week’s news of terrorist attacks in Lahore and Brussels followed only days after similar news from Istanbul. And before that Ankara, Jakarta, and Paris. The list goes on. Attacks on cities around the world are part of the new reality of global insecurity that transcends state and national borders. In addition to the terrible human devastation and fear caused by each incident, they are also examples of how traditional models of “national” security are not sufficient for understanding contemporary patterns of political violence.

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Prostitution: The world’s oldest public policy issue

Ever since the first arrangements were made for the exchange of some form of money for some form of sex, buying (or selling) sex has raised thorny issues for society’s rulers and governments. The Israelites condemned it, believing it would encourage men to seek sex outside marriage (Proverbs 23:27–28). Throughout much of European history, the profession was legal and often a source of tax revenue.

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An absence of fairness: the Trade Union Bill

According to Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Trade Union Bill currently before Parliament is ‘not a ban on strike action. This is about ensuring that our rules are modern and right and fit for today’s workplace’. As the Bill progresses through the House of Lords, Mr Javid’s rosy view has been challenged by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

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choosing our religion

3 things you might not know about Nones

Religious Nones are a name for people who answer “none” when asked with what religious group they most identify or to which they belong. Nones are a growing segment of the U.S. religious landscape but there are some misconceptions about how they practice what might count as “spirituality” or “religion.” Here are three challenges to typical misconceptions about Nones.

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Trump that: the failure and farce of American politics

There is something very odd and bizarrely impressive about Donald Trump’s approach to democratic politics: it is quite obviously undemocratic. Indeed, if anything, his campaign is fuelled by anti-political sentiment and populist slogans. It’s strong stuff. So strong that it deserves to be recognized in the form of a new political ideology: ‘Trump-ism’. Eponymous…and yet also synonymous with the failure and farce of American politics.

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Food economics: a reading list

Agriculture is a means of living for a large percentage of the world’s population. Agricultural economics looks at the utilization and distribution of farming resources and aims to apply the principles of economic theory to farming and the production and allocation of food in order to optimize such processes. This month the annual conference of the Agricultural Economics Society is taking place.

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